The making of "Bringing Salt to the Enterprise" | SUSE Communities

The making of "Bringing Salt to the Enterprise"


Last November at the annual SaltConf conference, Don Vosburg and I presented some great news: The United Federation of Planets has chosen SUSE Manager on their Constitution Class vessels to protect them from software attacks by the Borg.

Here is the video of our keynote:

The night before the keynote we even had a Vulcan science officer visit us in the Salt Palace here in Salt Lake City, Utah, to learn more about this new solution that is gradually being rolled out throughout the universe.

Don Vosburg with Vulcan science officer

Don Vosburg with Vulcan science officer

SUSE Manager allows the crew of the Enterprise, the first starship to roll out SUSE’s newest patch management solution, to visualize the various computer subsystems on the ship and patch them as needed.

USS Enterprise Patch Status

USS Enterprise Patch Status

Communication between the central management computer and the subsystems happens via Salt, and of course the United Federation of Planets can make use of SaltStack Enterprise (naming is just a coincidence) to have a full remote overview of the compliance status of the complete Starfleet.

As usual on those starships, a voice-operated computer interfaces with the subsystems. So patching, let’s say, the bridge computer, is as easy as uttering “Computer, patch bridge!”

Now, if you’ve read this post carefully, you probably have realized by now that you need to take this announcement with a grain of Salt. After all, Constitution Class (Refit) vessels don’t have a holodeck!

But the audience here in Salt Lake City clearly heard Don talking to the computer, asking it to list all system groups and computer systems, and patching the bridge computer via a voice command. How did we do that, if the whole thing isn’t real?

Well, the keynote demo involved a combination of really neat technology and cloud resources:

We used an Echo Dot to interface with an Alexa Skill running as an Amazon Lambda function on AWS. That skill used the SUSE Manager API to connect to a SUSE Manager server running on Microsoft Azure.

So while not all of the “facts” in that keynote were real, the voice control was talking to an actual SUSE Manager server!

This was a fun project to work on. Writing your own Alexa Skill isn’t that hard. I really encourage you to give it a try.

Even without “voice integration” (which may not be ready for prime time in the datacenter if you are not working on a Starfleet vessel), SUSE Manager can help you protect your IT assets against attacks by ensuring that they are properly patched!

Remember, there is a free 60-day evaluation available for the hardware platform of your choice.

This is Joachim Werner blogging live from Salt Lake City, Utah, where we’ve just brought Salt to the Enterprise. 🙂


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